Prep Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

30 mins



The perfect complement to your artisan cheese board, these delicious smoky flavoured rice balls aren’t shy on flavour and pack a moreish crunch.



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  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced
  • 150g Arborio rice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 200g Mainland Smoked Cheddar, ½ grated and ½ chopped into 1cm cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1L vegetable or other cooking oil
  • 100g dried panko crumbs



  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and leek and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes or until translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir well until slightly translucent around the edges.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice then add the hot stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. 
  3. Stir through the grated cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool then add the chopped chives and egg.
  4. When the rice is completely cold, roll the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball. Press a cube of cheese into the centre of each round and shape the ball around it. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs and set aside.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan to 190°C (or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep fry the coated rice balls, in batches, until golden brown, about 3 - 5 minutes. Lift out using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot on their own of with crispy chorizo, olives and cheese slices.